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Eagle Mountain’s Sweetwater Road is closed indefinitely due to flooding

Problem blamed on melting snow in nearby fields

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A road closure sign sits on Sweetwater Road in Eagle Mountain Tuesday. Some 2,000 cars travel on the road every day.

A road closure sign sits on Sweetwater Road in Eagle Mountain Tuesday. Some 2,000 cars travel on the road every day.

Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Spring flooding has forced the closure of a road in Eagle Mountain.

Officials in the city closed Sweetwater Road for an indefinite period of time because of the flooding from undeveloped fields on both sides of the road.

The road was closed intermittently last week, city officials said. When water levels lowered, city workers opened the road to traffic.

Residents, however, never knew when the road would be open, causing some frustration. City officials say some 2,000 cars travel on the road every day.

Linda Peterson, city spokeswoman, said officials decided to close the road to avoid any confusion.

Surprisingly, she said, the city hasn't received any calls to complain about the road closure.

"People might be muttering under their breath and not calling us," she said.

Floodwater is being diverted with sandbags across the road.

A detour has been set up and, Peterson said, they haven't had any problems thus far.

Eagle Mountain's flooding hasn't been as bad as other cities in Utah and Salt Lake counties. The majority of the flooding comes from the open fields that have heavy amounts of snow.

Because the ground underneath is frozen, the ground soaks up a minimal amount of the melting snow and the majority of it runs off onto the roadways.

Sweetwater Road is the only road that has needed to be closed in Eagle Mountain so far this spring, Peterson said. Developed areas haven't seen the flooding that's plagued the farmers' fields, and minimal damage has been reported to the city.

In Saratoga Springs, where flooding has been a bit more prominent with several minor closures of Redwood Road last week, the cause of the problem is the same.

However, Saratoga Springs has made several rules for developers to help curb the damage when flooding happens. Although not the cause of flooding, new developments arise from open farmland and tend to border existing open land, which can be susceptible to the flooding.

Ken Leetham, Saratoga Springs city manager, said when developers apply to develop a new area they are required to make improvements and additions to storm drains to help with water capacity and flow.

Developers, especially those who want to build in the foothill areas, also have to submit a topographical and storm drainage study of the land. If the study shows the area has history of drainage then building is prohibited in those areas, Leetham said.


E-mail: csmith@desnews.com